Autism Stereotypes.

 

As with anyone with a physical or mental disorder, autistic people deal with a wide range of reactions from others, from full support to uncaring ignorance.

Unfortunately, even those who support autistic family members, co-workers, and friends may not understand autism very well. This leads to stereotypes, which can result in hatred, embarrassment, or other unhappy situations.

By becoming educated about autism, you can help others in your community cope with this disorder.

It is most important to note that not all autistic people are the same. Other diseases and disorders have their own sets of rules, but autism is such a complex medical condition, that everyone reacts differently to it.

Autistic people are usually rated on a functional scale, with high-functioning people being able to hold jobs and low-functioning people needing 24-hour-a-day care.

Symptoms include behavioural challenges, uncontrollable movements, speech and communication difficulties, and emotional inadequacies.

Some show all symptoms, while others show few, and still, others may have most under control to the point where you cannot tell they have autism at all.

 

Because every person is different, no one thing can be said about autism and be true overall.

However, most autistic people have trouble communicating emotions. This does not mean that an autistic person does not feel. He or she simply cannot express this feeling.

It also does not mean strong relationship bonds are not possible. On the contrary, many autistic people are happily married and in love. Forming relationships is more difficult for most but can be accomplished over time.

 

Many people believe that being autistic coincides with being a genius in some aspect. While it is true that some autistic individuals have extraordinary math, music, and art skills, this number is nowhere near the majority-in fact, relatively few autistic people function outside of the normal range in any skill.

This stereotype is perpetuated in the movies and on television because the story of a talented person fighting disadvantages (such as autism) makes a good plot.

However, this is not the norm, so nothing more than the best they can personally do should be expected from an autistic person. However, it is important to note that autism is not a form of mental retardation. Some autistic people are mentally retarded as well, but most are not and should not be treated as such.

In the end, the most important lesson to take away from your studies on autism is one of tolerance.

You will probably need to be patient when dealing with autistic people, but by understanding a little more about the disorder, perhaps this will be easier.

Learn what you can and spread the knowledge to those you know to help create a more tolerant setting for autistic individuals in your community.

Laws and Autism

If you or your child has autism, some of the most basic things you can study and learn are your rights. Every American citizen is protected under the constitution, and there are special laws that have been passed to help protect people with autism and other disabilities.

By knowing the laws that protect you or your autistic loved ones, you can live in a world that provides better opportunities to everyone, regardless of not only disability, but also race, gender, and ethnicity. This is simply the first step to creating a more tolerant world in general.

The first law with which you should become acquainted is I.D.E.A. or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The I.D.E.A. covers children ages 3 to 21 and provides autistic children with the special educational programs they need.

The I.D.E.A. gives parents the right to be involved with education decisions concerning their child made by the school. Your child first needs to be assessed to qualify under the I.D.E.A., and this is best done by a private professional.

In the end, your child has the right by law to receive a free public education that is appropriate for his or her skill level. If your public school has no such program, they are required to find one or create one at no cost to you.

 

Also, become familiar with and knowledgeable about the American Disabilities Act. Under this act, discrimination due to disability is prohibited in the workforce, as well as with state and local government, public accommodations, the United States Congress, public transportation, and telecommunications.

For example, if you are autistic, but have the skills to do a certain job, you cannot be refused the job because of your autism.

 

Other laws provide rights for people with autism so that they are constitutionally equal to others. One such law says that people with autism have the right to vote, and accommodations must be made so that this is possible. Another says that autistic individuals cannot be refused housing based on disability. Others provide equal rights in all other aspects of life, and these should especially be studied if your loved one with autism is in a health care institution.

By knowing the law and how it applies to yourself or others with autism, you can be sure that justice is upheld. If you have questions, local law officials should be ready and willing to answer you or provide you with material to answer your own questions.

Remember that ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for anyone, so be an advocate for yourself or others with autism to prevent mistreatment.

Medication Options for Autistic Patients.

As with any illness, disease, or disorder, there are a number of medicine options available to help control these symptoms.

It is important to remember that none of these medications will “cure” autism; they simply help control some of the effects of the disorder. There are advantages and disadvantages to each drug, as they all have side effects as well as benefits.

When choosing medicines to effectively treat autism, your doctor can make recommendations, but since autism is a disorder which varies from person to person, you should use drugs very carefully, watching to see how the body reacts to the treatments.

First, consider the safety of the drug.

Some cannot be used in children or in people under a certain weight. Make sure the dosage is easy to understand and before you choose one medicine or another find out how it is administered (pills, injections, liquid, etc).

This is important if you are not comfortable with certain methods, such as injecting yourself or your child. Also, find out how safe the drug is to individuals who do not suffer from autism.

If you have small children in the house, you’ll want to be sure that the drug is not lethal if it gets into the wrong hands. Find out what to do in case this happens, just to be on the safe side.

 

Also, consider the side effects of the drugs you are considering.

While they may be very good at controlling aggression, responsiveness, hyperactivity, or other autistic tendencies, they may also cause sedation or other side effects such as nausea or dizziness.

Weigh your options carefully before beginning one of these treatments, or you could find yourself with ten bottles of pills, each taken to counteract the side effects of another.

Also, remember that medications may have long-term effects. Will you or your child become dependent on the drug? Will you be tolerant? How else will it affect the body over time? These are all important questions to ask your doctor before beginning any medication.

 

You can research many studies on these drugs at your local library or on the Internet.

Publications such as journals and healthcare magazines are probably most current and most reliable, whereas you may get some altered information on the World Wide Web, so be careful about following the advice you find without first consulting your doctor.

He or she may also be able to provide you with literature about the medication options available for autistic patients. Do your researching on the many choices before making any decisions, and you’ll be able to better control your health.

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Doctors and Diagnosing Autism


When a doctor first suggests that your child has autism, your immediate reaction might be disbelief and the urge to seek a second, third, or even fourth opinion.

Autism is so different in every child, it is a tricky disorder to diagnose. However, there are a few key ways in which doctors can efficiently identify autism in children, and if your infant or toddler is showing any of these signs of autism, you should visit your paediatrician immediately to express your concerns.

Autism occurs at a young age, rather than being a disorder an older child might develop. It is usually detected before the age of three, and many times much earlier.

The first signs of autism are usually delays or regression in speech communication. Another early sign is abnormal behaviour in group play situations and other social situations.

The first step to diagnosing autism is a thorough physical examination as well as a review of family history by a specialist. Although your regular paediatrician will be able to spot unusual behaviour, you’ll want your child to be examined by a professional who specializes in autism and other similar diseases to make sure your child is properly diagnosed.

 

The next step includes hearing tests. Sign language and social skill delays could be due to inadequate auditory sensations. There are two types of auditory tests, one of which records the tones a child can hear and the other of which requires sedation and measures the brain response to certain tones.

Of course, the first method is preferred, since it does not require any use of a sedative.

After auditory testing, your doctor may encourage testing your child for Fragile X syndrome, which oftentimes goes hand in hand with autism.

Metabolism can also be evaluated. To do this, your doctor will need a blood or urine sample to analyze DNA.  An MRI or CAT scan can also be helpful in diagnosing autism.

The important thing is to work with doctors you trust. Second opinions can be very helpful, but when your child has been diagnosed, stick with one doctor so that treatment is uniform and so that your child will get used to this person.

Autism is difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat, so remember that you should begin to learn as much as possible about the disorder as soon as your doctor identifies it.

If you have yet to speak with your doctor about abnormal behaviour in your child, do so immediately. By detecting autism early, you give your child a better chance at becoming a high-functioning individual with much more opportunities in life.

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Musical Therapy to Treat Autism

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Musical therapy is a relatively new treatment method for autism patients, but one that should not be overlooking when discussing options.

Patients who receive musical therapy often should great improvement in temperament and learning skills. Music connects to the non-verbal part of our brains, making it a perfect therapy for disorders in which the patient has trouble communicating, such as autism.

Research this innovative treatment method if you are looking for some help with autism and haven’t had much luck in the past.

Musical therapy is effective because it can be used in conjunction with learning social skills. Music is a very non-threatening medium for patients, and many games can be played using music to help improve social and behavioural skills.

Eye Contact

By encouraging eye contact while singing or using instruments that need to get close to the face, musical therapy can help autistic individuals break social barriers.


Development of Speech Skills

The number one way that musical therapy can help children, as well as older autistic patients, is by helping with the development of speech skills.

Music is a way to connect the verbal and non-verbal functions in the brain. Autistic individuals may have various forms of speech problems. Some can only hum, grunt, or make other non-word noises, while others babble nonsensical phrases or cries. Still, others gain the capability to put together phrases and sentences to communicate with the world, although these usually lack emotion.

Monotone Voices

Autistic people are known for monotone voices. However, no matter how skilled the individual is with speech, he or she can participate in musical therapy by clapping rhythms, humming along, or doing simple echoing songs.

Autistic individuals are commonly found to be particularly good at music. Some, for instance, have perfect pitch. Others can play a particular instrument very well, with little instruction.

Even if he or she shows no genius musical ability by normal standards, you may find that a particularly hard to deal with an autistic person has abilities in music that exceed his or her other abilities.

Musical Therapist

A musical therapist can use music as a way to link this kind of learning with other kinds of learning, not only as speech development and social behavioural development as previously discussed but also as a way to communicate emotions and develop memory.

By using all of these techniques in conjunction with one another, musical therapy can work wonders with people who are autistic.

Trained professionals can use music to teach children and others how to communicate in nonverbal ways, making it easier for patients to learn. Research the musical therapy option to provide you or your child with another choice when treating autism.

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Autistic Children and Visual Perception

Views of the brain

Autism affects every child differently, so it is difficult to find the exact treatments your child needs to cope with his or her symptoms.

One thing that effects some autistic children (though, not all) is problems with visual perception. By using some standardized methods to help improve visual perception, you can give your child the ability to see the world more clearly, making learning and comprehension easier and possibly curbing some behaviour problems as well.

Autistic children mainly have problems with sensory overload and distortion. These are some same problems many people not suffering from the disorder develop, and so many treatment options have become available.

Individuals with autism often find, however, that the sensory overload of the world due to light, colours, contrast, shapes, and patterns, is too much to handle, causing them to act out or shut down in general.

This is sometimes a genetic condition that is simply enhanced by the autism, so if the child’s parents have trouble with reading or have been otherwise treated for visual perceptive problems, there is a good chance that the child needs help as well.

The Irlen Method is one effective way to treat visual perception disorders. This method uses colour to create a more harmonized world. You may have heard of these methods if anyone has ever suggested using a colour filter over the page when reading to be able to read better and more quickly.

This method is proven to work, and if your autistic child is at the maturity level of reading, you may want to try these colour filters to see if there is a difference in speed and comprehension.

However, it is more likely that your autistic child will benefit from colour filters during the entire day, not just when reading. Special glasses have been made using coloured lenses to conquer this problem.

Not every child responds the same way to every colour, so it is a process of trial and error to find out which colour is the one blocking the harmful light. You can also choose to use coloured light bulbs in your home to help autistic individuals with their visual perception problems.

This method mainly helps children in 4 areas: depth perception, social interaction, learning, and physical well-being. The colours help the child determine how far he or she is from an object, and the world becomes more three-dimensional, helping depth perception.

Social interaction also improves because the child feels as though he or she is in a calmer world and can more clearly see and interpret facial expressions.

The colours make it possible to learn, especially when reading, and overall, the child will feel better, because it helps reduce headaches and dizziness. By testing this technique and others to help visual perception problems, you can help your child better cope with the world and his or her autism.